When I was younger, I didn’t really have a “type” of music. I just listened to whatever everyone else around me listened to, picking and choosing the songs that were catchy enough for young-me to enjoy. It wasn’t until my older brother introduced me to Vocaloid that I started developing my own tastes.
I’mma be honest with you, I ridiculed him for listening to Vocaloid at the start :P It’s kinda hard not to, it’s one of those genres that looks like you’d have to be a superweeb to listen to it. But somewhere along the line, I started listening to it myself, and ended up getting captivated. I soon went well beyond his recommendations, finding my own producers and styles as I fell down the “rabbit hole”. I finally had a “type” of music all to myself.
Interestingly enough, what really attached me to Vocaloid was the lyrics. Although it was the cheesy love songs and bright, pop-like beats sang by a cute anime girl that drew me in, it was the dark, brooding, introspective tones below the surface that kept me. Producers like Deco*27 would release a cute, happy song like Ai Kotoba (Love Words) on one hand, and a song like Ni Soku Ho Kou (Two Breaths Walking) on the other, a song about growing up too dependant on parental figures, becoming unable to live or love on one’s own, and ending up erroneously trading reliance on parents for dependence on a lover, all to an upbeat melody with a cute music video.
My introduction to Vocaloid interestingly enough came during one of the hardest parts of my life, where I dealt with a lot of internal and external issues. As with probably countless others, music became a lifeline for me, something I could always turn to for comfort. The interesting thing about Vocaloid songs, especially the ones I listened to the most, is that they didn’t promise that life would get better, or that things were gonna be OK. They would deal with hard truths and issues, and leave you with a hard push on the back, as if saying “Life is just gonna be this way; learn to live with it and fight back”.
Another element in Vocaloid I haven’t seen in other lyrics is self-responsibility; pointing the finger back at the listener. Society may be to blame, but isn’t society compose of tens of thousands of people just like you? Are you sure you aren’t your own worst enemy? A good example is Neru’s album Cynicism, which is filled with several poignant songs, like Whatever, Whatever, Whatever. This song sums up the attitude of knowing what’s wrong in your life, knowing what you need to do to fix yourself, but saying you don’t have the motivation to start, and letting life pass you by; Of liking the posts of people with the same problems as yours, commenting “Same, fam”, without ever trying to change. These practical takes did more for me than empty words of hope and encouragement ever could. They taught me to see the world with pragmatic realism, and not sugar-coat things. This is life, and it’s all we’ll get, but it’s still better than the alternative. Only I can fix myself, and only I am responsible for my own happiness.
In light of that, here are 18 lyrics snippets that were especially memorable or instrumental to me (in no particular order).
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"The time we have is limited, and fate it seems has poisoned it
But it's fine, I'm alive, and know that you are here by my side
We both laugh at just how small it is, this whole boring world we live in
There we are, nothing but lonely souls, even so you can rest by my side" -- I'm Glad You're Evil Too, PinocchioP
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"By the time low-quality food unlikely to be eaten comes to be a staple food
By the time monsters unlikely to be loved come to obtain unparalleled love...
Time machines will be illegal,
And flying cars will be a hindrance
When we come into that era,
We can quickly get accustomed
Will we get too accustomed?
I don't want it!
If I could have fun living, that would be nice tho
If I could laugh a little at the gloomy future, I'd be glad, so..." --Tho, PinocchioP
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"Broke it all with a touch if I do recall, hiding all of the shame, all I did was fall
We were young, never bound by a single sin, 'til before we could see, we were monsters in skin
But even if I had tried to move on, why can’t I leave my past?
“Considering it’s you, better give up soon, cuz no matter what you do, you will always lose”
And then I was alone way before I knew, blocking every little thought that I couldn’t sit through
All they want now is safety from what’s around, waiting for help but never learning how
I don’t wanna think now, I’ll play dumb anyhow
Always been me, empty, a body but nobody here to see" --Dramaturgy, Eve
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"If I keep holding on, would I be able to laugh someday?
If I do my best, will it pay off someday?
I breathe in, breathe out, and keep looking forward
The reflected sky is too beautiful for me...
I cry out and melt into the seasons that go around and around
The sound of hope plays with the sun shining on my back
My complete, shallow dreams are fluttering in the wind already
Just as the world begins to spin with its new colors
I have just enough time" --Unfinished Time Limiter, Orangestar
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"I'm worn out, I've turned timid,
and running away would be futile...
So I block up my ears; "This is awful," I cry...
What is life, anyway?
Not even knowing, I just keep living
But can I call that happiness?
I don't know anymore..." --Irony, Scop
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"Simply, simply, I'm going through the motion of breathing.
Why? Why? I can't tell you,
'cos I don't know myself.
I don't even want to know that, I tell myself,
'cos I have the feeling
that'd make it easier somewhat
Hey...Hey... I'm right here." --Life of Beginnings, Orangestar
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"If you're gonna jump, I'll go ahead and jump before you!
What, did you think I could be persuaded otherwise?! Don't underestimate my stupidity!" --If You're Gonna Jump, Omoi
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"Hoping to die, I live on another day
Wanting to live, you lost sight of your future
Yet why must we be sad?
To die someday is to be human
There may be no such thing as eternity,
These days may not be the ones that we had wanted
Yet the next daybreak comes,
Held together by a thin, fragile thread
No matter what sort of world we live in,
I'm willing to live on if you're a part of it
Within my hell, you were
Beating without fail
As my heart
Just as you had done for me
If I could've become someone else's heart..." --If I Could've Become Someone Else's Heart, Yurry Canon
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"It's not "tomorrow will come",
But rather, "I will go"
To a future I've chosen myself, right? --Route Sphere, Last Note
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"If you say pain makes you stronger...
How many more times do I have to cry?
I don't have anything,
But each time I stop crying, tomorrow comes,
So "I'm glad I'm alive"-
For the day to come that I think so...
I'm praying for it now..." --Crier, Scop
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"That's right, when we say we're lonely,
And just pretend to understand each other
The truth is, we're mistaking satisfaction for love
We really don't understand anything, huh?" --Clean Freak, Scop
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"Heading towards tomorrow was the me of today
Waving her hands like crazy saying “see you someday!”
Behind, they’re yelling, telling me “keep doing your best”
Although a pretty noisy chorus, I love them all to death
And so I take off running never looking behind
And as my tears reflect the evening glow
I say my bye byes, to once upon a me of now and I go..." --Once Upon a Me, Deco*27
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"Even if you're pretty on the outside, even if you hate what is sitting on the inside
Everyone's the same when you peel your skin and open up wide
We're nothing but organs inside" --What's Inside, PinocchioP
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"Why did I keep going?
Moving on is nothing but a convenient excuse for adults
So what are kids supposed to do?
I'm questioning it
"It's because you're an adult"
But when did I "become" an adult exactly?" --Goodbye Everyone, PowaPowaP
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"Even if you're not really wanted, still shine!" --Chit Chat March, Omoi
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""I" that can't exist by herself
I killed her
Pulling your hands, we run away as many "me"s
Even as a survivor, I'm not even cool; just stupid
Being able to survive was luck--no, fate
Thanks to you, I'm your shadow; always by your side" --Heartbreak Summit, Deco*27
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"My genes are to blame for hating cockroaches
My being alive is to blame for hating ghosts
All of humanity's to blame for the world's end
All except for me
At first, such one-sided conclusions
Seemed really awkward
But I was convinced that I am right" --Onion, PinocchioP
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"There's no reason we were born here
So we all try to find out "the reason to live"...
Is the one somewhere on the infinite way,
The one I'm looking for?
I'm sure I'll find it when tomorrow comes
So it's time to wake up" --Monochrome Blue Sky, Noboru↑Pns126.96.36.199da2